For true crime lovers, there may be no better story than that of notorious skyjacker D.B. Cooper. A James Bond-type figure who extorted $200,000 and a parachute while aboard a flight through the Pacific Northwest in 1971, requested to be flown to Mexico City, then suddenly jumped mid-flight to almost certain death somewhere over southwestern Washington state. Never to be seen again.
D.B. Cooper’s story has turned legendary over the years, propped up by mythical rumors, media interviews with witnesses, and several documentaries about the event. Now, Netflix is getting in on the action with their own docuseries about the case, equipped with expert interviews and those who investigated the crime. It’s an intriguing story for many who have cheered on a man for generations that stole money and got away with it as if it’s the classic American fable we pass down to our kids. Because, at the very least, the unidentified man who parachuted out of that Northwest Airlines flight didn’t injure anyone, no deaths were reported, and he seemingly disappeared into the night with the equivalent of $1.4 million by today’s standards.
While this isn’t the first documentary about D.B. Cooper, D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! is the most recent. Netflix presents a clear timeline of events over four detailed episodes, some of which highlight the main suspects, deathbed confessions, eyewitness testimony, and conspiracies about collusion with the FBI. Biases of the investigators and theories about Cooper’s citizenship are explored. It is a closed cold case with no one convicted of the crime, so at the end of four episodes, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. But the incident remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history.
For those that are familiar with the 50-year-old crime, not much can be learned by this docuseries, but for anyone new to the D.B. Cooper story, D.B. Cooper: Where Are You?! might be a worthwhile trip down the rabbit hole of badassery. The 4-part Netflix docuseries debuts July 13th.
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